Kentucky First District Congressman Ed Whitfield says he’s against closing off waters close to Cumberland River dams to boaters and fisherman. Army Corp of Engineers officials say the restrictions would include closing off 400 feet of water upstream and 700 downstream from Barkley Dam.
Congressman Whitfield says the enforcement changes are unnecessary. He says,
“There’ve been like three deaths since ’96 and there’s been one death at Barkley. The goal is no deaths. But there has not been any number of deaths or increase in dangerous activity or deaths to justify changing this management plan.”
The Corps of Engineers says the access restrictions are already part of their river management plan, but have not been enforced. Whitfield says he plans to meet with the head of the Corps early next month to request that they don't change the management plan and allow boaters to fish near the dams.